Family Releases Message to Teen Accused of Killing Parents in Michigan Dorm Shooting

"In this very difficult time, the Davis family wants to express their love and support for Eric Junior whom they love and for him to know that he has not been abandoned"

The family of a suburban Chicago couple who police say was shot and killed by their 19-year-old son at his college dormitory in Michigan said they want the teen to know "he has not been abandoned."

James Eric Davis Jr. is accused of fatally shooting his father, James Eric Davis Sr., and his mother, Diva, in his Campbell Hall dorm room at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Davis Jr. fled and was arrested Saturday morning. He faces murder and gun charges.

"In this very difficult time, the Davis family wants to express their love and support for Eric Junior whom they love and for him to know that he has not been abandoned," a release from an attorney on behalf of the family read. "Further, they want it known that Eric Junior is their main focus."

Davis Jr.'s parents had just picked him up from a hospital, where he was brought for suspected drug abuse a day earlier after campus police officers said he was acting erratically, university police Chief Bill Yeagley has said. They took him to his dorm to pack up for spring break when they were shot with a gun that belonged to Davis Sr.

Authorities have not said whether drugs were found in Davis Jr.'s system.

Davis Jr. was ordered held on $3 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but whether or not he will appear in person remains unclear. 

The family is from Plainfield, Illinois. Davis Sr. was a part-time police officer in Bellwood, Illinois. He also had been a longtime member of the Illinois Army National Guard, serving in the Iraq War.

The couple is expected to be laid to rest in Chicago this weekend, with a wake scheduled for Friday and a funeral Saturday morning, a family spokesman said. 

According to a statement from attorney Brent Hopper, a spokesman for the family, the Davis family wanted to thank the Bellwood Police Department and American Airlines for "the support that they have extended to the family." 

"They would also like to thank the friends and coworkers of Sergeant Davis and Mrs. Davis for all of the prayers and condolences that they have extended," the statement read. 

Those who knew the family have said Eric Jr. is a "good kid" whose parents raised him, and their two other children, well. 

"I've known him since he was 4 or 5," Murphy said of Davis Jr. "From knowing the family ... something out-of-character occurred. Something external affected the situation that caused this unfortunate tragedy to occur."

Jordan Murphy, who worked from 2004 to 2008 with Davis Sr. in Chicago as Illinois Army National Guard recruiters, said the couple has an older son and younger daughter. They were "loving, ever-present doting parents" to the children, he added.

"They couldn't brag on their children enough," he said. "This was a nuclear family — mother and father together, raising their children with values."

Murphy said his family lived within 2 miles of the Davis family in Plainfield before relocating to St. Johns, Florida.

"Junior is a good kid. He's a great young man," Murphy said of Davis Jr. "He's the kind of young man who would hold the door and step aside for adults."

Davis Jr. was taken to a hospital after his arrest and was expected to be moved to a jail once he's discharged. 

Central Michigan's campus is in Mount Pleasant, about 155 miles northwest of Detroit.

The campus was on lockdown Friday and officials canceled events and activities that evening.

The school is on "spring break all of this week so classes will resume as scheduled" on March 12, university spokeswoman Heather Smith said Sunday. "Other university operations will resume as normal (Monday) morning."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us